Spokane medical students learning how to talk to patients about gun safety

Spokane medical students learning how to talk to patients about gun safety

WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine students are learning how to ask patients about a charged topic: gun safety.

Doctor Radha Nandagopal, FAAP Director of Clinical Skills Education at WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, said they’re treating this as a public health issue.

“We teach students to ask about all safety concerns that their patients may have. So, they do safety screening for domestic violence, tobacco, and they also talk about firearm safety. It’s a major cause of death and injury in young adults,” Dr. Nandagopal said. “They will be asking questions, especially their younger patients, what will they do if they see an unlocked gun laying around.”

According to the CDC, guns took the lives of 31,076 Americans in homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings, in 2010.

Recently, the American College of Physicians published articles addressing gun violence as a public health issue. Within its recommendations was a ban on semiautomatic firearms.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) quickly responded, tweeting last week, in part, “someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane.”

The tweet received a swift response from thousands of doctors and surgeons, sharing their own experiences with gun trauma.

In an interview with KOMO News, former firearms instructor and senior editor of gunmag.org Dave Workman insisted that firearms instructors, not doctors, know about gun safety.

“I wouldn’t go to a gun range to get a tonsillectomy,” Workman said.

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